If you follow us on Instagram you’ll know that Jubala Coffee is a place you’ll find us at often. We are regulars here, at least once per week since moving to Raleigh, and if we lived closer than our current 15-minute drive, it could be daily.
And it wouldn’t just be because they serve some of the best coffee in Raleigh, but the tasty food too!
In fact, my daughters recently dragged me out of our house for the 15-minute drive to downtown Raleigh just so they could pass by Jubala and get their banana Nutella waffles – they’re addicted, as are many others!
When you visit Raleigh, or live here like us, put Jubala on your list of Raleigh coffee shops. And I say that as an Australian who has enjoyed many a cup of Joe in Melbourne and across Australia and New Zealand – if you know coffee culture at all there’s two of the best countries right there!
As an Aussie, it pains me to say it but I think the best coffee I’ve ever had has been in New Zealand – don’t tell the Kiwis I said that!
But getting back to Raleigh espresso, I love all things Jubala.
From their excellent coffee to their food offerings, to the vibe, aesthetics and location. Everything’s made fresh to order including their specialty coffees, their waffles and breakfast biscuits and homemade syrups from their open kitchen.
Whilst I can’t personally speak for their specialty coffees with syrups as I like to watch my sugar intake, my go to is a latte with macadamia milk (and their flat whites which us Aussies love – similar to a latte but made with less milk).
Their lattes are consistently up there with the best coffee shops in Raleigh, and overall when I factor in the food, service, coffee and ambiance, this is THE best coffee shop.
About Jubala Coffee – Hillsborough street
Located on Hillsborough Street underneath the Aloft Hotel and right across the street from NC State University and their iconic Bell Tower, Jubala is a premier specialty café known for their strong, fresh coffees and tasty small bites menu.
All of their coffee is roasted by Counter Culture Coffee in Durham twice a week to provide handcrafted coffee, freshly prepared one cup at a time.
As for their baristas, I find them to be super friendly and professional – you can tell they care about their craft and enjoy working here and providing stellar customer service.
And I love how they use a dry erase marker on their countertop when writing orders to save on receipt paper. We have been coming here for years and always enjoy the ambience and atmosphere.
Being close to campus, it’s a popular spot for students to work online and meetup. Growing up in Australia I didn’t go to college and one of the things I love about living in Raleigh is the college atmosphere, and whether it be a college sports game, a college bar or coffee shop, I enjoy getting among it.
Their professionally trained baristas create lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, simple espressos, and flat whites, plus specialty and seasonal drinks.
I’ve been drinking lattes and flat whites all over the world, and I’m grateful we have coffee shops like Jubala to call a local.
As mentioned, more often than not I order a macadamia milk latte. They steam their milk to a silky microfoam and they always come with a nice coffee art design.
But, considering it’s fall season, on my most recent visit I went with their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte; flavored with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove – which was delicious!
They also currently have a seasonal Campfire Mocha; a s’mores flavored mocha featuring graham cracker-infused milk, Videri Chocolate, and house made toasted marshmallow.
Even though I haven’t yet tried any of their specialty coffees (or pour overs), from all reports and reviews they are popular and well crafted too.
I have also been recommended to try their homemade almond syrup in a latte, and their Cortada gets rave reviews, as does their iced coffee.
When you visit, I highly recommend tasting one of their lattes, and don’t forget to check out their seasonal options and pair it with a biscuit, chocolate chip cookie, or the banana bread (see below).
I didn’t grow up in the South (well, way down south), and I am no expert when it comes to biscuits and don’t eat them often and it took me a while to acquire the fondness for them.
But now I find them really hard to resist, and I have to admit the biscuits at Jubala are the best biscuit I’ve ever had – so do your taste buds a favor and get one of their biscuits!
My favorite is their fried egg + pimento cheese + bacon and it is so good. I’m pretty sure you can get your egg to your liking, possibly even scrambled – I like mine runny.
Their biscuits come with a bit of brown crunch on top and fluffy and moist on the inside. They have quality fillings, but the biscuit is the highlight for me.
I usually feel some guilt and regret when I have biscuits for breakfast, but on this occasion I regretted nothing – you’ve got to treat yourself once in a while, right?!
Their turkey and avocado sandwich with sharp cheddar, chipotle aioli, is also our favorite of mine. I choose to switch it up by ordering on sourdough instead of multigrain.
Also, their avocado on toast with egg hits the spot nicely with a cup of their coffee.
As mentioned, our kids love their banana nutella waffles. They order them every time we visit. We used to order them one to share, but now they are getting older we get them one each.
They also love their chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip banana bread. Also on the menu are a small selection of baked goods, their house-made granola, and steel cut oatmeal.
I like that their menu is simple and not overwhelming! See the full Jubala menu here.
The Space & Location
I love the location on Hillsborough St underneath the cool Aloft Hotel – which is one of the best places to stay in downtown Raleigh.
They have both indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoors undercover and out on the sidewalk.
We love sitting out on the sidewalk on a sunny day, and especially with young kids so we don’t bother those inside too much.
But even if I’m by myself, I choose a sidewalk table and like to watch the world go by up and down Hillsborough and look up at the iconic bell tower. And during the fall with the trees and leaf colors it’s pretty.
When it’s super hot and humid in the middle of summer, we’ll grab a shade table or sit inside. And the indoors is a cozy enough space to be on wet days or the colder months.
In normal times (remember we are still in this crazy year of 2020) it can get pretty busy during the school year as being close to campus there are lots of Wolfpack students at any given time.
It’s not a huge space inside, and students or digital nomads like ourselves tend to occupy tables online or studying for a while, so finding a seat can sometimes be difficult.
And if you’re looking to work or study in a “library type silence”, bring your headphones. I myself enjoy a bit of atmosphere and chatter and the music playing. It’s not super loud here, but it’s not dead silent either. When I’ve worked online there, the WiFi is good (you may get bumped off occasionally when real busy).
I like the smart interior space, the polished floors, wood paneling, retail display of coffee and merch, and plenty of natural light from the large windows at the front.
The back room area behind the counter has a coffee bar with stools and other seating against the back wall near the open kitchen. Whilst the main sitting area too the right of counter has one large communal table and individual tables. Yes, this is a popular coffee shop, and places are usually popular for a reason!
If you’re looking for a spot for a meeting, small one-on-one meetings would be totally fine but I probably wouldn’t conduct a large group business meeting here – or have it outside. And of course, this is a great place to meet up with friends and socialize.
As for parking, we typically find a spot on the side street (Logan Ct). If you’re looking at Jubala from the outside it’s to the right.
Or, we find a spot out the front on Hillsborough, or even down Hillsborough a bit through the roundabout where the old Liquid State used to be and walk the short distance back.
Jubala also has their original location in North Raleigh, at Lafayette Village, but considering we currently live in Cary this location is more practical.
Another highlight for me is the consistently friendly, warm and welcoming service. From my personal experience, I know when I order my drinks and food I’m going to have a brief but pleasant chat with the server. They, and the barristers, always seem to be in a good mood and appreciate your business.
And even when it’s busy with a short line, the coffee and food comes out prompt and hot.
During the initial stages of Covid when it was just curbside pickup, they handled the situation tremendously, and they still have online ordering which we’ve always found easy to use without order mix ups.
If you’re passing through Raleigh, coming to school at NC State, or have just moved here and are looking for great local coffee shops in Raleigh, don’t just take my word for it, stop in at Jubala Coffee shop and experience the unmatched service, premium coffee and delicious biscuits for yourself.
When you do, let me know in the comments below what you ordered and maybe on my next visit I’ll order that too.